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New Rules for ATMs
May 26, 2014

The Reserve Bank of India regularly monitors the banking system. One of its key aims is to ensure customer ease of use. Keeping that in mind, it issued a notification recently asking banks to make bank branches and ATMs accessible for disabled individuals.

In April 2009, the RBI advised banks to provide ramps in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). This was to help disabled individuals move with ease in and out of the ATMs. It had also said that banks were to provide Braille keypads in at least one third of the new ATMs. Braille is the writing system for the blind and visually impaired. These ATMs would also be enabled with voice commands for further ease of use. 


Now, the RBI asked banks to ensure that the height of the ATMs be low enough to be used by customers in wheel-chairs. It added that in case the geographic location of the ATM makes a ramp facility impossible, the bank has to ensure that a clear sign post displays the unavailability of the ramp.


The central bank also extended the rule to bank branches. Banks are also to take appropriate steps, including providing of ramps at the entrance of the bank branches, wherever feasible, so that the persons with disabilities/wheel chair users can enter bank branches and conduct business without difficulty. It added that banks have to periodically report to the RBI about progress made in offering such services.


It reiterated that banks should make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014 as talking ATMs with Braille keypads. To ensure this happens, the RBI now requires that banks lay down a roadmap for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads. Magnifying glasses should also be provided in bank branches. This is to help customers with low vision and help them carry transactions with ease. The banks should also place a prominent notice about the availability of the glasses and other facilities.

 


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